Planning on retiring soon? If so, you may be busy taking final planning steps and wrapping up outstanding projects in your job. While this may be an exciting time, it’s also a good time to evaluate your retirement planning and identify any potential gaps or risks.
A financial professional can help you with this process and recommend action steps to strengthen your financial foundation as you head into retirement. If you’re not working with a professional on your retirement strategy, now may be the time to do so. Below are four key questions to answer:
How will I pay for health care costs?
Health care is a substantial expense for many retirees. While Medicare is a valuable resource, it doesn’t cover everything. It covers only a portion of most costs, and some treatments and services aren’t covered at all. That means you could face out-of-pocket costs for things like deductibles, copays, premiums and more. In fact, Fidelity estimates that the average retired couple will spend $275,000 on health care expenses.1
A financial professional can help you develop a strategy to cover those costs. Your plan may include the use of a health savings account or a supplemental health care policy. You might also consider long-term care insurance, as Medicare usually doesn’t cover long-term care.
When should I file for Social Security benefits?
File early or late? It’s a question many retirees struggle with. Deciding when to file could be one of your most important decisions, because it’s permanent. Once you file, you can’t make a change to your selection. Your age at the time of your filing is one of the biggest factors in determining your payment amount, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.
You can file as early as age 62, but you’ll see a reduction in your benefit if you file before your full retirement age (FRA). Most people reach their FRA between their 66th and 67th birthdays.
You can wait past your FRA to file, and you’ll see an increase in your benefit amount if you choose to do so. Social Security offers an 8 percent annual benefit credit for every year you wait past your FRA. If your FRA is 66 and you wait until age 70, you’ll receive four years of 8 percent credits, for a total of a 32 percent increase.2
Delaying your filing will lead to a higher benefit amount, but that doesn’t mean waiting is the right answer for you. Your decision should be based on your specific needs and objectives. Perhaps you can’t wait to retire and have no other source of income. Or perhaps you have multiple sources of income and can afford to wait with some shrewd planning and budgeting. Again, a financial professional can help you make an informed decision.
What should I do with my 401(k)?
If you’re like most retirees, you’ve used an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan to accumulate retirement assets. These plans are popular with both employers and employees because of their favorable tax treatment and flexibility.
When you leave your employer, however, you’ll have to decide what to do with the balance. Theoretically, you could leave the funds in the 401(k) plan. However, you may find it more beneficial to roll those funds into an IRA, where you could have more allocation choices and greater control of the assets.
Where will my retirement income come from?
This may be the most important issue to discuss with your financial professional. Without sufficient income, you won’t be able to enjoy the kind of retirement you want for yourself. You may even be forced to go back to work.
Your financial professional can help you develop a retirement budget and project your income. They can also help you create and implement a strategy to overcome any funding gaps.
Ready to develop your retirement strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Bridgeriver Advisors. We can help you analyze your needs and create a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
The material is not intended to be legal or tax advice. The insurance agent can provide information, but not advice related to social security benefits. Clients should seek guidance from the Social Security Administration regarding their particular situation. The insurance agent may be able to identify potential retirement income gaps and may introduce insurance products, such as an annuity, as a potential solution. Social Security benefit payout rates can and will change at the sole discretion of the Social Security Administration. For more information, please consult a local Social Security Administration office, or visit www.ssa.gov
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